Tuesday, 3 June 2014

... and modernity enters Paalaguttapalle (Dalitwada) - Birthdays

"Birthdays, called puttina roju, were celebrated for small children when the parents could afford a new dress and about fifty rupees for a plateful of 25p or 50p toffees for distribution. The child would go to the temple, and then go with a mother or with another tiny elder sibling from home to home and distribute toffees. The people would wish the child, or bless it. The child would feel very happy. There was no concept of getting gifts. The children who were unable to distribute the sweets as their parents could not afford them would feel a little bad.
In recent years birthdays are beginning to become events. In some cases, a cake is ordered, and balloons are festooned. The cake is cut and bits are given to the guests to bite into and to offer back to the birthday child to bite. A balloon filled with flower petals is hung over the cake. It is popped and flower petals shower over the birthday child. This is TV inspired, and inspired by accounts of relatives in cities. This is on its way of becoming a much desired function for children, and a few parents attempt to perform it for the child at least once! Now there will begin to be haves and havenots among children !"

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